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December 05, 2005 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-12-05

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4A - The Michigan Daily - Monday, December 5, 2005

OPINION

Sbe £idhigau DU1Qi1

JASON Z. PESICK
Editor in Chief

SUHAEL MOMIN
SAM SINGER
Editorial Page Editors

ALISON Go
Managing Editor

EDITED AND MANAGED BY STUDENTS AT
THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN SINCE 1890
420 MAYNARD STREET
ANN ARBOR, MI 48109
tothedaily@michigandaily.com
Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily's editorial board. All
other signed articles and illustrations represent solely the views of their authors.

NOTABLE
QUOTABLE
I miss y'all."
- New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin,
trying to convince 2,200 New Orleans resi-
dents temporarily living in the Atlanta area
to move back to New Orleans, as reported
Saturday by The Washington Post.

MICHELLE BIEN T- u'. BF.AN\ AR,,: VES-
To ALL .T)AOSE Of FENDED : 1'M 50A,"FOR. THE NISI NTE~wR.ETArsT ONOF
MY ix&T. I A A -cm4Et~E TH S TkVU.LS TNAT 6t.FACE, ANDO i1-' C.AMC
16C ' CEc & EQUALITY, FOR WE ARCAALL TRULY C.REATED EQUAL w-Aio MATTER
W.HAT,~ WE ARE AcL bE:AOr IFUt_ jINTE'hL14aEtT, EMO~TONAL ?EoPLE
WITH R PURPOSE. MY FVTVRW W M,655-5WtLC ?NW&efC PCjL ATt& j
PORRAwfY MY LAL tS0,6 E -^.QUALITY & ViAPMONY,

9

Tuition, Humvees and insulated administrators
ELLIOTT MALLEN 1RRATIONAL EXUtJBERANCE

n an address to
soldiers about to
be deployed to
Iraq last year, Defense
Secretary Donald
Rumsfeld shrugged
off complaints that
troops weren't suit-
ably outfitted for
going to war, saying
that "you go to war
with the army you have, not the army you
might want." Former University Provost
Paul Courant pulled a Rumsfeld during his
speech about the value of higher education
last week. In a similarly nonchalant man-
ner, Courant told assembled students at a
speech covered by The Michigan Daily ('U'
is not a business, 11/30/2005) that market
constraints and a decline in state funding
make tuition increases inevitable, implying
that students have no choice but to suck it
up and deal with it.
I admit that it might be a little harsh to
compare a former administrator and current
professor with the secretary of defense. After
all, nobody is dying due to exorbitant tuition
increases, and Rumsfeld has a considerably
higher degree of control over the military
than Courant does over state funding priori-
ties and the University's budget. However,
just as Rumsfeld will never find himself
dodging bullets and roadside bombs while
driving an inadequately armored Humvee
through the streets of Fallujah, Courant's
salary of $292,031 as provost ensured that
he would never know what it's like to take
out a second mortgage or even postpone his
retirement by just a couple years to pay for
his kids' college education. He'll never have
firsthand knowledge of just how far a Pell
Grant or Stafford Loan goes, and it's prob-
ably safe to say he's never had to fill out a
FAFSA form. Courant, along with every

other upper-level University administrator,
is completely insulated from the trauma that
these supposedly inevitable tuition increases
create for students and their families.
Of course, I'm not trying to pin all of the
blame for high tuition on Courant. It's true
that state cutbacks have hit public universities
across Michigan with unprecedented budget
shortfalls. State funding of higher education
has been declining consistently enough to
require the University to seek alternate sourc-
es of revenue. University President Mary Sue
Coleman spends a significant amount of her
time as a donation hunter, dozens of students
man the phones at Michigan Telefund every
night to squeeze a few dollars out of alumni
and the University's newfound life-sciences
fetish is intended to bring in fresh investment
for research. However, Courant's attitude sug-
gests that these harsh economic realities are
forcing the University to abandon its status
as a public institution intended to provide a
public education, where no student is turned
away due to low income.
The University is taking some token
steps to help meet financial need. The
University's new M-PACT program allows
some students to exchange a part of their
student loans for grants, but the maximum
$1,500 grant will be less and less substan-
tial as tuition rises. Because the size of the
grants is not meant to rise with the cost of
tuition, the M-PACT program could easily
go the way of the Pell Grant, a once sub-
stantial boost that has been rendered large-
ly ineffective due to the skyrocketing price
of higher education.
The fact that Courant is basically throw-
ing his hands up in the air and giving in
to the supposed inevitability of tuition
increases reflects just how much priority
the administration gives to keeping tuition
low enough so that a degree from the Uni-
versity is attainable to more than just the

well-heeled. Like Courant, those who set
University policy will never find themselves
in a position in which they will be unable to
afford their own children's educations.
The most egregious example is Cole-
man, who is raking in $724,604 this year
after receiving a 3.5 percent raise from last
year. University spokeswoman Julie Peter-
son, who is charged with putting a smiling
face on tuition increases, made $160,000 in
2004. Oft-maligned Vice President for Stu-
dent Affairs Eunice Royster Harper makes
$221,708. Pamela Fowler, whose title of
director of the Office of Financial Aid makes
her responsible for helping an increasing
number of students make ends meet, made
$114,712. Of course, the University Board of
Regents has the final say in determining the
price of a University education, and regents
are paid nothing for their service. However,
among the eight regents are three attorneys,
the CEO of Domino's Pizza, an executive for
Northwest Airlines and a retired executive
vice president of OTE Energy Company -
people who could easily withstand the 12.3-
percent increase in tuition that students and
their families are facing this year.
Courant argues that high tuition is neces-
sary for the University to remain a "conserva-
tory of knowledge" that "improves the quality
of life and makes it more fun and interesting."
What he neglects to acknowledge is that such
an ideal is worthless if it's accessible only to
the elite. If income replaces scholarship as the
determining factor in who has access to high-
er education, then the conservatory of knowl-
edge becomes a stagnant ivory tower. As long
as those who administer our university con-
tinue to occupy the top rungs of the economic
ladder, making our university a truly public
institution will not be a priority.

Mallen can be reached
at emmallen@umich.edu.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

0

'U' must accommodate all
sexual orientations equally
TO THE DAILY:
In response to the recent letter about trans-
gender individuals (Individuals can choose to be
transgender, run naked, 11/28/2005), the Uni-
versity should not discriminate against trans-
gender individuals regardless of whether or not
this identity is a choice. Identifying as trans-
gender is not always a choice; for those indi-
viduals born intersexed - having reproductive
or sexual anatomy that does not fit the typical
definitions of female or male - it clearly is not.
Furthermore, it is unjust to ignore or discrimi-
nate against even those individuals who believe
their transgender identity is a choice when we
frequently extend assistance and protection to
other identities of choice.
Many people affiliated with the University
choose to have children, and family bathrooms
are available to assist these individuals. Simi-
larly, unisex bathrooms should be available to
assist transgender individuals. Also, religion
and marital status - both of which involve
a choice - are included in the University's
bylaws. Therefore, the University and letter
writer Joshua Birk cannot make the argument
that gender identity and expression should not
be included in the bylaws just because it is
determined by choice.
There is an enormous lack of education and
misinformation in the public about gender iden-
tity and expression that often leads to skepticism
of the transgender fight. Some references on
transgenderism are: http://www.provost.umich.
edu/reports/tblg/ and http://www.gendertalk.
com/tgism/tgism.shtml. Intersex information is at:
http://www.isna.org.
Katie Kerfoot
Engineering senior
University s race preference'
counterproductive, unfair
TO THE DAILY:

a result of that preference. The assumption is
false and nasty - but by giving preference
in admissions, our university encourages that
assumption and makes it inevitable.
This is only one of the ways in which race
preference does great damage to the minorities
who were to have been supported by it.
Carl Cohen
RC Professor
MuscleBound helped spark
male body issues dialogue
TO THE DAILY:
I am writing with regard to the Daily article
on MuscleBound (Performance addresses men with
eating disorders, 11/18/2005), a performance spon-
sored in part by the Coalition for Action Regard-
ing Eating and Body Image Issues. This theatrical
and hard-hitting performance addressed male
eating and body image issues and "gym culture"
and has successfully opened a dialogue about the
pressures both males and females face to achieve
"the perfect body" - to the extent that they
adopt largely unhealthy behaviors to do so. The
article was well researched and very well written,
and we truly appreciate the added attention eat-
ing and body-image issues have received as the
result of this review.
EricaNoelle Dodde
The letter writer is an eating disorder and body
image health educator for University Health Service.
GCovernments, not student
activists, must drive change
TO THE DAILY:
In her letter to the Daily (Fighting for justice
means taking on Coca-Cola, 11/15/2005), Sairah
Husain raised a number of interesting points in
between her personal insults. It's true that mul-
tinationals execute unfair business practices in
countries where governments can't regulate
them. What she omits is that everybody exe-
cutes unfair business practices in unregulated

trade. My "skinny" history books made no
mention of this and instead have always told
me that freedom of religion was what spurred
colonists to come over here. Regardless, it is
unrealistic, pretentious and even patronizing
to assume that by whining about a corpora-
tion here we can make a real change in other
areas of the world. Even in the case that Coke
cleans up or shuts down, these countries will
have exactly the same problems that anti-Coke
activists are so adamant about fixing.
Real solutions will come from governments,
not corporations, and I advocatean increase in
foreign aid and less restrictive trade policies.
Eliminating U.S. farm subsidies would be a good
start. Foreign countries will be able to decide for
themselves exactly what they consider inhumane
and what practices they are willing to tolerate.
It is not our place to make these decisions,
but it can be our place to help give them the
power to do so themselves.
Sean Germaine
Business senior
Fans call for impeachment of
clearly biased sports editor
TO THE DAILY:
We recently were appalled by Ian Herbert's
selection of Ohio State University to cover the
spread over Michigan. Then, in addition to this
selection, Herbert played as Ohio State in the
"Procrastination Station" game. Is the journalis-
tic integrity of picking Ohio State in a nonsense
staff picks pool that important? Did he delight in
Ohio State's victory after the game because he
gained a game - he's still well below .500, by
the way - on the rest of the sports staff?
Is there something we don't know about
Herbert?
In fact, research shows a definitive bias
in Herbert's picks. Herbert picked Ohio
State nine times this season. In 10 con-
secutive weeks, Herbert either picked Ohio
State, or was busy selecting Michigan State
to cover the spread against Michigan. On

0

Editorial Board Members: Amy Anspach, Andrew Bielak, Reggie Brown, Gabrielle
D'Angelo, John Davis, Whitney Dibo, Milly Dick, Sara Eber, Jesse Forester, Mara Gay, Jared
Goldberg, Ashwin Jagannathan, Theresa Kennelly, Mark Kuehn, Will Kerridge, Frank Man-

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