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September 15, 2004 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2004-09-15

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 15, 2004_____


rL Utothedaily@michigandaily.com

SINCE 1890

Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editor

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of
the Daily's editorial board. All other pieces do not
necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

The incident
became ugly when
players approached
the seating area."
- Oakland Athletics vice-president of
stadium operations Dave Rinetti, referring
to an altercation during Monday night's
game that spilled into the stands, as reported
yesterday by he Associated Press.


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Looking the gift horse in the mouth

Real estate mogul
Stephen Ross
recently gave
$100 million to the Uni-
versity's Business School,
making it the largest gift
ever given to the Univer-
sity and the largest given
to any business school in
the country. The dire bud-
getary situation in which
the University currently finds itself gives the
giddy thanks lavished on Ross a tinge of des-
peration. While the gift is certainly a substan-
tial amount of money, it's not money that the
University should have to rely on to survive.
The delirium of the University officials after
having received such a bailout shows that our
public university can no longer rely on public
funds to function regularly, and is now forced
to whore itself out to outrageously wealthy
alumni by dangling the enticements of nam-
ing rights and shameless adoration.
Our very own University President Mary Sue
Coleman put it aptly in April, saying that "30,
the state provided 70 percent of the funding for
instruction at our Ann Arbor campus. Today, we
receive less than 30 percent of our instructional
funding from the state." This significant drop in
funding has to be made up somehow, and there
are few potential sources. If the state won't sup-
port its namesake school, perhaps the federal
government could step in. This is far from likely,
given our current administration's reluctance to
adequately fund education. Leaving No Child
Behind must not extend to providing a college
education, despite the fact that well over 3 mil-
lion college students could be given a full ride
for a four-year public university with the money

spent on the war in Iraq. Too bad that would
mean our overexerted military would have a
harder time attracting recruits too poor to afford
the prohibitive costs of education without the
help of the G.I. Bill.
Having been abandoned by both the state
and federal governments, the University has
no choice but to get on its knees and beg
because, as Coleman concedes, "We just can't
generate enough money from the state and
tuition alone." I was a grunt on the front lines
of this begging for two weeks, making $7.25
an hour to squeeze a little bit more out of
already overextended parents and alumni. We
understand you've had to take out a second
mortgage to fund your daughter's education,
and we know that she's now thousands of dol-
lars in debt and is still searching for a job, any
job, that will employ her for full time and pay
a living wage, but could you please spare an
extra $100 to make the posting wall of Angel
Hall a little more gleaming? No? Well thanks
for your time, have a great evening while I slit
my wrists.
Working the phones also made me aware of
how many strings are attached to private dona-
tions. After hearing countless wealthy alumni
refuse to donate on account of our affirmative
action policies and the alarmingly high level of
left-leaning faculty (I spoke with one man who
said he'd give thousands if only the Universi-
ty would stop giving out need-based financial
aid or, in his words, "rewards for laziness"), it
became clear that relying heavily on these peo-
ple to stay afloat can easily result in the Univer-
sity becoming more accountable to the wealthy
donating elite than the public it was originally
established to serve.
Public universities receive government funds

in order to ensure their independence. The Uni-
versity is given great freedom to choose how
to spend public funds, but it has no choice but
to accept strings attached to private donations.
While the University was teetering on the brink
of financial hardships in 2003, Rick and Judy
Perlman gave $500,000 to open the Perlman
Honors Commons, a plush study space for Hon-
ors students that includes such amenities as a bar
space for coffee and food, comfortable chairs to
accommodate the special ass-cushioning needs
of Honors students and wall murals celebrating
the achievements of the University's famous
alumni and pointing out some highlights in the
University's long and colorful history. Mean-
while, parents and students are tightening their
belts to record-breaking levels of compression.
At least the student whose future will be com-
promised under the weight of five-digit student
loans can draw inspiration from the enlarged
visage of JFK while filling out scholarship
applications in the Honors Commons.
While gifts such as this can be superfluous
extras the University can take pride in, they can
also be a liability. The state and federal govern-
ments can point to the sizable donations the
University receives in order to justify further
cutbacks, putting it in an even more precarious
situation of dependence. They lend justification
to shifting income from public funds to condi-
tional and inconsistent private donations.
I'm not trying to discourage alumni from
giving to the University. God knows we need
the money. It's just dangerous to rely on the
benevolence of the wealthy to keep our univer-
sity functioning properly.
Mallen can be reached
at emmallen @umich.edg.



Bush is the candidate
of 'moral clarity'
First of all, I'd like to thank Jason Pesick
for showing how foolish we "traditionalist,
fundamentalist" Christians are, especially for
abandoning all trust in modern medicine. I'll
consider myself admonished, if slightly sur-
prised, as I don't know any Christians who feel
that way. I would encourage readers to talk to
Christians on campus, and see how many of
them would refuse hospital treatment, instead
waiting for God to provide a miracle. Unless
you're talking to a member of the Christian
Science Church (which is in complete disagree-
ment with accepted Christian orthodoxy), you
probably won't hear the "dangerous message"
that Pesick thinks we preach. For most Chris-
tians, healing can come in a direct manner from
God, or in an indirect manner, through the use
of medicine or the work of a surgeon. In this
regard, I would encourage Pesick to conduct
some background research outside of watching
Pat Robertson and the "700 Club."
Now, if I don't support the candidate of "sci-
ence," John Kerry, I'm happy to be supporting
the candidate of moral clarity, President Bush.
Embryonic stem cell research, like it's com-
panion issue, abortion, walks on very shaky
moral ground. You can use scientific terms

like ESCR or dilation and extraction, but the
life of a human being is still being terminat-
ed. The human embryos used in ESCR are 7
days away from a beating heart, and Nancy
and Ronald Reagan Jr. can't seriously believe
that the esteemed author of "The Conscience
of a Nation" would approve of such a practice.
It boils down to this: Do we place an intrin-
sic value on human life, something that no one
can take away? Or does the value of humans
change simply by changing their size, location,
development or level of dependency? I'll leave
that one up to you.
LSA senior
Alum 'embarrassed' about
loss to Notre Dame
I am writing concerning the abysmal foot--
ball effort this past weekend. As students and
recent grads, we've been put through some
rough losses by our beloved football team.
With every loss comes feelings of confusion,
sadness and frustration. However, this week-
end's game at Notre Dame brought on a feel-
ing of embarrassment that myself and other
students and alumni have never felt before.
Through the ultra conservative play calling that
stifled our most talented players and rolled the
red carpet for Notre Dame, Michigan effective-

ly gave up in that game before ever stepping
on that field in South Bend and did not come
to win at all. The choice of play-calling made
it look more like a kicker's scrimmage than
an actual game, and it seemed as if Lloyd Carr
owed Tyrone Willingham a favor. If this were
a heavyweight fight, people would assume we
took a dive. There were mistakes made on the
field, but nothing that you couldn't expect in a
hard-fought game.
The choice to run the ball with our non-
existent running game right at their defense
and neglect even thinking about scoring a
touchdown doomed this game. We have the
best receiving corps in the nation and a quar-
terback who (despite his inexperience) can
throw at them past the first down marker and
into the endzone. I understand it is easier to
unjustifiably blame the coach with a lifetime
of experience for the failures of the young
men who actually take the field; however, this
is one game in which the onus is squarely on
Carr and the coaching staff. Myself and fel-
low alumni walked out of South Bend thor-
oughly humiliated at our team's performance
and without that benefit of knowing that we
went down fighting. We went down out of our
own will. This should never happen again. Our
team should be given the chance to compete
and play like the leaders and the best in every
game, and hopefully the debacle we witnessed
this past weekend will never happen again.

Nader: righteous fury

I attended Ralph Nader's speech at Ohio Uni-
versity on September 12 because I wanted to find
out whether this man, who had been one of my
heroes before 2000, really had just lost touch
with reality and become an egomaniac. It was an
extraordinary speech, fiery, eloquent, and inspir-
ing. It demonstrated that Nader is not only sane
but also brilliant, and that he remains passionate-
ly committed to the same democratic values that
motivated his four-decade career as a consumers'
advocate and "public citizen."

What I asked Nader was whether he would
withdraw his candidacy before the election. I
said that if he did not, I could not support his
campaign. And I said that I realized he might not
be able to give me a straight answer, depending
on his political strategy.
He did not give me a straight answer. He said
that corporations have usurped the people's sov-
ereignty in numerous ways, including manipulat-
ing both Democratic and Republican politicians.
He told of having struggled for many years to
prevent the Democratic Party from moving

win this election.
Nader denied that he was responsible for
Bush's taking the White House in 2000. For
proof he referred me to a statistical analysis done
by academics at the University of Wisconsin.
Not yet having studied this paper, I don't know
whether it absolves Nader of blame for the out-
come of the 2000 election. In any case, it cannot
guarantee that he will not be to blame this year
if he decides not to pull out before Election Day
and Bush edges out Kerry.
Nader defends himself by saying that voters
make their own decisions; he's trying to give

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