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February 08, 2005 - Image 7

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NEWS

The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, February 8, 2005 - 7

BUSH
Continued from page 1
ernment cuts subsidies.
"I think the philosophy of the fed-
eral government is that these are very
lucrative loans for the banks - they can
afford to take a smaller subsidy and still
make money on these loans. Ultimate-
ly it will be up to the banks to decide
whether they want to stay in the student
loan business or not," Heller said.
Sen. John Kerry, Bush's opponent in
the November presidential election, had

planned to fund his education propos-
als by eliminating the same subsidies
as well. During the campaign, Kerry
cited the "windfall profits" banks make
when the interest rate of a student loan
exceeds the rate that the government
guarantees to lenders.
Assistant Secretary of Education
Sally Stroup has called the Perkins
program "ineffective," according to
the Chronicle of Higher Education.
The administration has said the $7
billion spent on loans would be put to
better use on Pell Grants.

DONORS
Continued from page 1
something the University should get involvement on
from people who want to express their opinions on
that issue," Carter said.
Renovation plans have not yet been finalized, and
it is not yet clear whether the changes will increase or
decrease seating capacity.
Athletic Department spokesman Bruce Madej said
the athletic department has been consistently involving
donors and other interested individuals in the plans to
renovate the stadium.
"We are in contact with the major donors almost

constantly," Madej said. "It is good leadership to
keep the lines of communication open with all your
constituents; not only with regard to this project,
but we want their input on everything that happens
at the University."
Madej said he hopes more communication between
the University and athletic supporters will prevent
unpopular renovations from taking place.
Madej cited the unpopular addition of the "halo" in
1998, a maize-and-blue ring that circled the stadium.
The halo met so much opposition that it was removed
two years later.
"There's been discussion about (the halo), and we
want to make sure it doesn't happen again," Madej

said. "That's why we want to keep the lines of com-
munication open."
While several donors said the University has not
contacted them regarding the stadium renovations,
others said they have engaged in some communication
about the project.
"I've talked generally with people in the develop-
ment office about the future of the facility," said Doug
Gessner, a University alum who donated $10,000
to the athletic department last October. "I think it's
great. I trust (Athletic Director) Bill Martin and the
University leadership to strike the appropriate balance
of keeping the stadium up to date, but making as few
changes as possible."

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ETHICS
Continued from page 1
"It may take both some long-range
planning and short term," said Marvin
Krislov, task force co-chair and Univer-
sity general counsel. "There may be more
than one stage."
No decisions have yet been made as to
how the University should go about study-
ing ethics in public life. Among others,
possibilities include a major center for the
study of ethics, coordinated faculty hir-
ing, new courses, seed funding or a con-
sortium.
"Right now, we're tying to assess our
needs," Krislov said. "It might be a physi-
cal center. It might not. There (is) a wide
range of possibilities."
There will most likely be two separate
components to the study: one for public
life and one for campus life. The public-
life component would address contro-
versial topics such as stem-cell research,
while the campus-life component would
focus on local issues such as the ethics of
race-based admission policies.
Task force members asked forum
attendees what ethical issues they thought
should be included in the University's
planned discussions on ethics.
TEXTBOOKS
Continued from page 1
while it sells for $108.86 in American
bookstores.
Bruce Hildebrandt, executive direc-
tor for the Higher Education Associa-
tion of American Publishers, said that
prices are lowered in foreign countries
to compete with local publishers, and
to dissuade consumers and producers
from purchasing or producing pirated
copies of the books.
"The industry loses $500 mil-
lion to $1 billion a year in Asia and
Africa through piracy," Hildebrandt
said.
But PIRGIM finds these price hikes
unacceptable and, while working to
bring them down, also wants to tackle
the problem of new edition prices,
which are often a financial burden
for students because they force them
to buy new books instead of cheaper,
used ones.
The study also addressed the issue
of new editions.
According to the survey, which
included information from 59 col-
leges and University bookstores
across the country, the most widely
purchased textbooks on college cam-
puses on average have new editions
published every three years, and
these new editions cost 45 percent
more than used copies of the previ-
ous edition.
The report surveyed faculty from
59 American universities, finding that
76 percent of the faculty felt that a
new printed edition was needed half
the time or even less.
"It's outrageous that publish-
ing companies are coming out with
new textbooks so often. It puts even
more of a financial burden on stu-
dents," LSA senior Carolyn Hwang of
PIRGM said.
LSA junior and PIRGM member
Sarah Seiter said that most of the time
when publishers release a new edition
of the textbook, they don't significant-
ly alter the content of the text. Instead,
some of the exercises are rewritten,
which causes the page numbers to be
redone. Then if a professor wants to
make reference to a page number in
the text, students are forced to buy
a new edition. Also, once a new edi-
tion is released, the older editions are
taken out of print, and the bookstores
can only buy the new editions from
the publishers.
"(Publishing Companies) release
new editions that prevent bookstores

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Pertaining to the public sphere, attend-
ees brought up the Iraq war and urged the
University to look at its moral implica-
tions. They also suggested that whatever
organization results from the task force
examine health care, social security and
business ethics.
University-related topics included
Internet plagiarism, post-tenure review
and possible divestment from companies
that are associated with immoral activity.
In response to similar activity at Brown
University, some attendees also wanted
ethics researchers to investigate whether
the University has ever had ties to slavery
in its past.
Attendees suggested that one way the
University could provoke discussion on
those topics would be by educating people
about current problems.
Discussion was also devoted to how
the University would decide what is ethi-
cal and what is not. Attendees raised the
question of what basis - such as social
or religious beliefs - ethical standards
would be centered on.
The 19 members on the task force rep-
resent a wide range of University depart-
ments and organizations, ranging from
special counsel to the president Gary
Krenz to MSA President Jason Mironov.
and then they convince professors to
use the new editions," said Vince Bat-
tista, regional manager of Barnes and
Noble College Bookstores, of which
the Michigan Union bookstore is a
subsidiary.
But Hildebrandt said the seem-
ingly rapid release of new editions is
a response to demand from college
professors. Hildebrandt cited a Zogby
study, which claims that 80 percent of
professors want the content of their
textbooks to be as current as possible.
"We only send what the professor
tells us to send," he said.
Not only are the new editions com-
ing out more frequently, but they are
also coming out to be more expen-
sive, according to the report.
The survey found that textbook
prices are increasing at a rate much
faster than the rate of inflation.
According to the report, the price
difference between the old and new
edition is 12 percent on average
- almost twice the rate of inflation
between 2000 and 2003, which was
6.8 percent.
Members of PIRGIM voiced their
concerns at the Michigan Student
Assembly's meeting last Tuesday,
urging the student government to
aid their efforts in protesting the
textbook companies, and work-
ing with professors to consider the
financial burden inflicted upon stu-
dents before ordering a new edition
of a book.
"We hope to get professors to not
order bundled packages, because
they often contain materials like dic-
tionaries, CD's or lab books which
students don't really end up using or
needing. They also prevent the stu-
dent from buying some of the books
used," Seiter said.
According to the survey, 65 percent
of faculty said they rarely or never
used these items.
Representatives from MSA echoed
the concern in the report over the
dramatic price increase in textbook
costs.
"We're concerned about the rising
costs of textbooks and that's why we
registered 3,162 students at dogears.
net, an online text book exchange that
saves students money each semester,"
said MSA student general counsel
Jesse Levine.
The survey for "Ripoff 101" did
not include bookstores from the Uni-
versity or Ann Arbor. PIRGIM plans
to conduct their own investigation of
local bookstores and produce their

own report in the near future.

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