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December 02, 2005 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2005-12-02

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Friday, December 2, 2005
Opinion 4 Tips to getting
through the Fishbowl
Arts 8 Darfur conflict
showcased in
children's artwork

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One-hundredifteen years ofeditorialfreedom
www.mich/gandaily.com Ann Arbor, Michigan Vol. CXVI, No. 41 92005 The Michigan Daily


Student loans
to get more

Congress will cut billions of
dollars from aid programs to try to
balance the federal budget
By Julia Homing
Daily Staff Reporter
The U.S. House of Representatives has approved
a budget bill that will cut $14 billion in federal
student financial aid, while the Senate approved
one that would cut $9 billion from aid programs.
Now the two houses are working together to
compromise on a combined bill, but regardless
of the outcome, federal student aid is expected
to suffer.
In an attempt to reverse some of the federal
deficit, Congress has been looking at ways to
reduce spending on programs such as Medicaid,
food stamps and student financial aid. In order to
cut back on financial aid, both the House and Sen-
ate have proposed higher interest rates on student
loans over the next five years. Increasing interest
rates on student loans saves money for the gov-
ernment because it decreases the need for federal
subsidization of financial aid loan programs.
Students lobbying against such cuts are calling
Congress's efforts to trim the budget a "raid on
student aid" and have criticized representatives,
focusing on U.S. Rep. Joe Schwarz (R-Battle
Creek) - an alumnus with close ties to the Uni-
versity - for supporting a bill that makes student
loans more expensive.
Schwarz, who is the chairman of the Universi-
ty's alumni association and a moderate Republi-
can, said-despite his vote for the bill, he did not
agree with the clauses on financial aid.
He added that he thinks many people are over-
reacting to the changes.
"Even if what was stipulated in the (House) bill
passes, I don't think students will see virtually

any change in availability of loans, or in the cost,"
Schwarz said.
But Tom Kiley, spokesman for Congressman
George Miller (D-Calif.), the senior Democrat
on the House Education Committee said the cuts
would directly and significantly hurt students.
Student-loan interest rates would go up, work-
study programs would be frozen, the minimum
Pell Grant would remain stagnant and the loan
consolidation process would be made more dif-
ficult, he said.
Schwarz said when combined and finalized, the
two bills would result in a better deal for college
"The final product is still being negotiated,"
Schwartz said. "In the end, I don't think the con-
cern over increased cost for student loans is going
to be a real one."
University spokeswoman Julie Peterson said the
Senate version of the bill is more beneficial to stu-
dents because of the grant programs it creates for
low-income students. While the House bill uses
all of the $14.3 billion in saving to roll back the
deficit, the Senate bill only uses about half of the
savings to create three new grant programs. Peter-
son said the University will lobby for more aid.
"We're always advocating for anything that
would increase students' financial aid," Peter-
son said.
Schwartz said the change was not a decrease for
financial aid, but would reverse previous commit-
ments to increase aid.
"That's the whole concept," Schwarz said. "It
doesn't really cut spending; it minimally limits
spending growth."
Public Interest Research Group spokesman
Luke Swarthout said the cuts would be detrimental
to students, making higher education less acces-
sible to students of lower income levels. He said
students would lose money in high interest rates
See AID, Page 7

The University Museum of Art covered up work in a gallery yesterday In observation of the 17th annual Day With(out)
Art, a national day of action and mourning by the art community to respond to the growing AIDS crisis.

b 0
bird Iflu
As of Nov 3, the World
Health Organization has
recorded more than 100
human cases of the disease
By Christina Hildreth
Daily Staff Reporter
Had the flu yet this year? Medical
experts say you should be OK after
several days of rest. But next year, your
fever, stuffy nose and sore throat could
have a fowl tinge, researchers say.
Avian influenza, better known as
bird flu, is "a legitimate concern," said
Robert Winfield, director of University
Health Services. "I do see it (happen-
ing) in the next few years."
As of Nov. 3, the World Health Orga-
nization had recorded more than 100
human cases of avian flu, mostly con-
centrated in Asian countries. The WHO
says all of the conditions necessary for
a massive outbreak of the lethal disease
have been met - except the develop-
ment of a strain that can transfer easily
from human to human. In the past, the
disease has killed 50 to 60 percent of its
Governments across the world are
laying plans for mass vaccination and
treatment should an outbreak of the
killer virus occur, and the University
is following suit. On Dec. 21, medical
administrators will stage a mock emer-
gency situation, using Palmer Commons
as an "alternate care center" - a place

New group tries to save higher education

Main goals of organization
are to make 'U' more diverse,
accessible and democratic
By Ben Beckett
Daily Staff Reporter
The hits keep coming.
In July, state budget cuts for higher educa-
tion forced the University to increase in-state
tuition by $1,000 per student.
Then, in November, the U.S. House of
Representatives approved a budget bill that
would further cut federal student aid by $14.7
billion. The Senate's version would cut $9.6

Last year, a new group, the Michigan Orga-
nization of Students, began coming together
to lobby against higher education funding
Now the group is trying to get its name
out to the campus community in an effort to
position itself as a broad union of students
that can pressure the University and city gov-
ernment to act in favor of student interests.
LSA senior and MOS member Marlowe
Coolican said the group's three main goals
are to make the University more diverse,
more accessible and more democratic.
She said a unified group representing
student interests is the best way to achieve
these goals, and that the Michigan Student
Assembly, the closest thing to such a group

on campus, "isn't truly representative of what
students want."
MOS argues that students are "disenfran-
chised" from local government. Ann Arbor's
ward system divides Central Campus and
the surrounding neighborhoods in a way that
prevents students from having a majority of
voters in any ward. Students-and the MSA-
have long argued that lack of accountability
has resulted in a city government that is not
responsive to student needs or concerns.
Coolican said that in addition to charging
too much in tuition, the University does not
spend its money well. "I feel like there has
tq be much more of a focus on undergradu-
ate education than on research. I am paying
a ton of money, and I want my education to

come first," Coolican said.
University spokeswoman Julie Peterson
disagreed with this criticism.
"It's vital that students have access to
researchers on the cutting edge of their
field," Peterson said. "I think it's false to try
to separate the two (undergraduate education
and research) as if they were independent."
So far, MOS has hardly had a noticeable
presence on campus. LSA senior and MOS
member Adam White said about 10 people
show up to an average MOS meeting.
Despite its small size, the group is ambi-
tious. In addition to addressing tuition issues,
MOS wants to unite various groups on cam-
pus to form a more organized progressive
See HIGHER ED, Page 7

Palestinians on campus try to promote culture
Organization plans to host a variety
of programs to demonstrate the strong
Palestinian presence on campus
By Laura Frank
Daily Staff Reporter

Many Palestinian students on campus are tired of being viewed
only in political terms. To change this perception, students have
come together this semester to create a new cultural organization,
the Palestinian Student Association.
The group, which is 'still in the process of organizing, will
focus on educating the University community about often over-
looked aspects of Palestinian culture and uniting Palestinian stu-
dents, its founders said.
"When you say, Palestine, it's not just politics," said PSA
member and LSA sophomore Fouad Hassan. "There's cultures,
society, people there. ... Palestinians are kind of dehumanized
almost, mostly because people don't know much about the cul-
ture or, honestly, the politics."
PSA plans to host a variety of programs to demonstrate the strong
Palestinian presence on campus and give a human face to the often
mischaracterized community, organizers said. Events will include
film showings, dance and cultural shows and educational dialogues.
Organizers said they hope the emphasis on culture rather than poli-
tics will help correct the skewed representation of Palestinians pre-
sented on campus and in U.S. media.

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