The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom
Tuesday, February 17, 2009 - 3
getting details on
President Barack Obama is
about to sign a stimulus package
into law, and Michigan residents
soon will have a chance to see how
cities, schools and universities
would like to use the money.
Gov. Jennifer Granholm's office
is working on a Web site that
will explain how much stimulus
money Michigan will get once the
president signs the package on
The site also will include the
types of programs that are expect-
ed to benefit from the stimulus,
including' Medicaid, job retrain-
ing, education and building proj-
ects, among other items.
A separate Web site showing
the funding requests from local
governments, schools and univer-
sities also is being readied.
On Monday, the Michigan
Townships Association proposed
a list of 500 projects, most road,
water and sewer improvements.
Members of the Michigan Munici-
pal League have listed their own
$3.3 billion for 1,200 suggested
projects, although only a portion
are expected to get funded.
"It's expected that Governor
Granholm will lay out this week
a process for the funds to come to
the state," Granholm spokeswom-
an Liz Boyd said Monday.
S.C. sheriff: No pot
charge for Phelps
A South Carolina sheriff said
Monday he was not going to charge
swimmer Michael Phelps after a
photo of the 14-time gold medalist
showed him smoking from a mari-
Richland County Sheriff Leon
but defended his investigation.
"Michael Phelps is truly an
American hero ... but even with
his star status, he is still obligated
to obey the laws of our state," Lott
The photo showed Phelps smok-
ingfrom amarijuana pipe at a party
in November when he visited the
University of South Carolina.
could reveal what
caused plane crash
Investigators have located key
components that might help reveal
what the pilot did to try to save
Flight 3407 during its final des-
perate seconds, when the plane
plunged to the ground so suddenly
that sending a mayday was impos-
sible, an investigator said Monday.
After a seemingly routine flight,
the airplane endured a 26-sec-
ond plunge before smashing into
a house in icy weather about six
miles from Buffalo Niagara Inter-
national Airport on Thursday
night, killing 49 people on the
plane and one on the ground.
On Monday, families of the vic-
tims visited the site for the first
time and placed roses to remem-
ber the dead.
National Transportation Safety
Board member Steve Chealander
said investigators have located the
steering column, or yoke; all the
propeller blades; five of six deicing
valves; and rubber bladders designed
to protect the tail from ice.
Pakistan inks truce
Pakistan agreed Monday to
suspend military offensives and
impose Islamic law in part of the
restive northwest, making a ges-
ture it hopes will help calm the
Taliban insurgency while reject-
ing Washington's call for tougher
measures against militants.
A U.S. defense official called the
some Pakistani experts expressed
skepticism the truce would
decrease violence. One human
rights activist said the accord was
"a great surrender" to militants.
siles fired by a suspected U.S. spy
plane killed 30 people in a house
used by an extremist commander,
witnesses said. It was the deadli-
est of almost three dozen apparent
American attacks on al-Qaida and
Taliban targets in the semiauto-
nomous tribal lands close to the
Afghan border since last year.
- Compiled from
Daily wire reports
From Page 1
from the affinity program - an
agreement between the bank and
university that includes Bank of
America credit cards trademarked
with the University's logo. As part
of the contract, the Alumni Asso-
ciation is paid royalties from Bank
of America, including 0.5 percent
of retail purchases made by each
credit card account.
"In terms of that credit card rev-
enue, we're probably reinvesting in
student programs 20 times what we
earned last year from student credit
cards," Sigler said. "I get frustrated
with the implication that we're
making millions of dollars off stu-
dents. We're making very little and
supporting significantly in support-
ing and funding students."
Sigler added that the Alumni
Association, a non-profit organi-
zation, puts an additional $50,000
into the Division of Student Affairs
to fund leadership training and
credit-related emergency loans.
The University's Athletic
Department is also included in the
affinity agreement. Bank of Amer-
ica is the only credit card company
allowed to advertise at University
Under the affinity program,
Marty Bodnar, associate athletic
director for ticketingservices, said
the Athletic Department mkes
$425,000 per year.
Christine Lindstrom, higher
education director of the U.S.
Public Interest Research Groups's
Higher Education Debt Project,
said credit card companies' adver-
tising on college campuses have
made students vulnerable targets
for these companies.
"It creates a marketplace on
campus for students, who tend
to be new consumers in the mar-
ketplace, and as a result are less
exposed to a variety of schemes
and tricks that might be layered in
particular," Lindstrom said. "Our
stance is we'd like to see the mar-
ketplace cleaned up on campus and
for students to have the ability to
control whether they're marketed
to in the sharing of information."
Lindstrom, who testified at a
June 2008 U.S. Congressional
hearing on credit card marketing
on college campuses, said there
are two factors contributing to
student debt: credit card compa-
nies targeting vulnerable popula-
tions and students' need to rely on
credit lines to pay for their educa-
tion and other expenses.
"Students have seen a need to
rely on their credit cards to pay for
student needs - textbooks, trans-
portation and even tuition," Lin-
strom said. "Target marketing and
needing to rely on lines ofcredit to
pay for basic educational costs are
contributing to an increase in stu-
dent debt once they graduate."
Betty Riess, a spokeswoman for
BankofAmerica, said the company
tries to promote financial respon-
sibility among student cardhold-
ers. Reiss said Bank ofAmerica has
special terms and fees for student
accounts, including lines of credit
for students that start at $500 and
are capped at $2,500
Currently, Bank of America
has about 700 affinity agreements
with universities across the coun-
try, but Riess said she could not
discuss individual contracts,
She said the purpose of the
affinity card is to provide a way for
alumni and fans to show support
for the school, and added that the
program is not targeted atstudents,
who account for only two percent
of all open accounts nationally.
"Our objective is to build a long-
with the tools they need to start
establishing p credit history that
enables them to achieve longer-
term financial goals," Riess said.
CURBING STUDENT DEBT
Despite the credit card pro-
gram, the University doesn't allow
students to pay for tuition with
credit cards, according Pamela
Fowler, executive director of the
University's Office of Financial
Prohibiting credit card tuition
payment prevents students from
charging large sums of education-
al expenses and driving them into
credit card debt, Fowler said.
She added that although stu-
dents cannot request loans based
on credit card debt, it is sometimes
inferred as the reason for some stu-
dents applying for financial aid.
Fowler said some of the practices
of the Alumni Association, like this
contract, while fair from the view-
point of the association, often end
up negatively affecting students.
"Sometimes I think they don't
think it all the way through - that
some of what they do can bleed
over into currently enrolled stu-
dents," Fowler said.
Fowler also said the Office of
Financial Aid is trying to educate
students about managing their
finances - something that is also
a priority for the Alumni Associa-
tion, according to Sigler.
"We believe that managing
finances and credit is as much a
part of the education and matura-
tion process that takes place dur-
ing the college experience," Sigler
r said. "We believe that students
should not be insulated from cred-
it and other things that are part of
I the real world of finances."
Sigler added that Bank of
America is not looking to prey on
naive students or run them into
credit card debt. Instead, he said
r the company is working to create
long-term relationships with them
"They want you to have that
card and manage your credit
responsibly, by working with us
aand making responsible credit
I education," Sigler said.
STUDENTS TAKE ON CREDIT
According to U.S. PIRG's Cam-
- pus Credit Card Trap - a survey
taken from October 2007to Febru-
ary 2008 - credit cards and banks
regularly target college students
r with aggressive marketing tactics.
According to the survey, 66 per-
cent of students have at least one
credit card, 55 percent of students
reported using the card to buy
books and 24 percent of students
- reported paying for their college
tuitions using their credit cards.
Sixty-seven percent of students
opposed sharing of student infor-
mation with credit card compa-
nies, the survey found.
LSA junior A.J. Huber, who
opened an affinity card with Bank
of America in May 2007, said
he was unaware of the contract
u between the Alumni Association
and the bank, but that it doesn't
bother him. Huber said he would
rather see some of the money from
his credit card account support
m the University rather than just the
credit card company.
Huber, who was solicited by
Bank of America through the mail,
said he wanted his own card to
build his credit history. He added
that although credit card compa-
nies' targeting of students may
contribute to rising debt, students
need to learn how to handle their
credit responsibly and should not
be exempt from the world of man-
I "To say that students are unable
to manage their own spending is
patronizing," Huber said. "While
it is true that some students will
spend irresponsibly, that is also true
- with many older adults. Cutting off
access to credit, especially consid-
ering the credit crunch in today's
market, will only hurt students."
r Listed in the University's direc-
tory, Huber's name was provided
- to Bank of America as part of the
credit contract. Students may
remove their names from the
directory, which is public and
accessible online at any time.
North Korea may
distract from U.S.
message to As ia
As Clinton makes
historic visit to
Japan, North Korea
vows missile tests
TOKYO (AP) - Secretary of
State Hillary Rodham Clinton's
first official overseas trip was
overshadowed by harsh North
Korean rhetoric, epitomizing how
new administrations often can be
hemmed in by problems inherited
from their predecessors.
At the outset of her Asian trip,
Clinton declared in Japan: "I have
come to Asia on my first trip as
secretary of state to convey that
America's relationships across
the Pacific are indispensable to
addressing the challenges and
seizing the opportunities of the
"We will be looking for ways
to collaborate on issues that go
beyond just our mutual concerns
to really addressing global con-
cerns," Clinton said at a ceremo-
ny to commemorate the arrival of
the first secretary of state ever to
ioake Japan their first overseas
Yet her message was in danger
of being eclipsed by Pyongyang,
which just hours before vowed to
press ahead with test-firing what
wary neighboring governments,
particularly Japan and South
Korea, believe is a long-range mis-
Japan, with an unpopular gov-
ernment and struggling with deep
economic woes, is particularly jit-
tery at the moment and Clinton
From Page 1
Ann Arbor is because the commu-
nity has been great to us."
Even with the presence of a new
competitor, though, other area busi-
nesses are maintaining a positive
outlook toward the new business.
"Competition is good for every-
body," said Ken Smith, general
manager of Cosi on North State
Street. "There are quite a few busi-
nesses like that but let's he honest
aims to reassure the country of its
importance in the international
"The bilateral relationship
between the United States and
Japan is a cornerstone in our
efforts around the world," she
said. On Tuesday, she is expected
to announce that she will send a
special U.S. envoy to a Japanese-
hosted donors conference for Pak-
In addition to meeting with top
government officials and members
of the opposition, Clinton will sign
an agreement to move about 8,000
of the 50,000 Marines on the island
of Okinawa to the U.S. Pacific terri-
tory of Guam.
But, North Korea looms large
over her visit. She has promised
to meet with the families of Japa-
nese citizens kidnapped by North
Korea in the 1970s and 1980s. "We
do want to press the North Kore-
ans to be more forthcoming with
information," she said en route to
Last week, she had warned
North Korea against any "provoc-
ative action and unhelpful rheto-
ric" amid signs the Stalinist nation
was preparing to test fire a missile
capable of reaching the western
But on Monday, the 67th birth-
day of North Korean leader Kim
Jong Il, Pyongyang claimed that
it has the right to "space develop-
ment" - a term it has used in the
past to disguise a missile test as a
When North Korea test-fired
a long-range missile in 1998, it
claimed to have put a satellite into
there's a market for that."
Dave Seagren, general manager
of Earl of Sandwich, which is also
on State Street, had an even more
"I think it's going to be good
for business," he said. "Anytime
you get a big, reputable company
like Panera come to the down-
town area, it's going to increase
traffic. Maybe they won't stop in
the first time they come by, but
eventually people are going to
notice our restaurant and come
trv us out."
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