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April 15, 2009 - Image 1

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2009-04-15

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Iie liCidogan i I1j

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

michigandaily.com

THE ECONOMY AND CAMPUS
Hillel asks
for aid in
downturn

. ED MOCH/Daily
President Mary Sue Coleman (left) and Vice President for Student Affairs Royster Harper (center) field questions from students at yesterday's fireside chat on financial issues.
Coleman chats abouthe

Officials say that
$200,000 could be
cut from budget
By ANNIE THOMAS
Daily StaffReporter
University of Michigan Hillel,
the campus organization famed
for its Friday night Shabbat din-
ners and free "Jewish Penicillin"
matzah ball soup deliveries for
the sick, has caught its own case
of the nation's economic blues.
Officials from the organiza-
tion said they might need to cut
as much as $200,000 from their
annual budget. They are now
starting a grassroots fundraising
campaign in hopes of avoiding
staff and salary cuts or poten-
tially ending popular programs
before the end of the fiscal year
on June 30.
Hillel's . Executive Direc-
tor Michael Brooks wrote in an
e-mail that like many non-profit
organizations in the country, the
University's Hillel is experienc-
ing some tough economic times.
BrookssaidtheBernieMadoff's
Ponzi scheme didn't affect Hillel

as much as it affected many other
Jewish non-profit organizations.
But funding is down because par-
ents and alumni have been less
able to contribute because of lost
jobs and tight financial times.
"Last year we had 3,500 annual
donors, but we expect that num-
her to be down this year," Brooks
wrote in an e-mail. "The students
conductingour annual phonathon
campaign this year have spoken
with many of our supporters who
are facing their own financial
challenges and in some cases who
have lost their jobs."
Hillel officials recognize that
part of the problem may be that
the organization spread itself too
thin, Brooks said, by supporting
so many student groups and pro-
viding a variety of services.
"It's also a function of Hillel
havingover the past several years
sodramaticallyextendeditsrange
of services not only to the Jewish
community but to the entire cam-
pus community," Brooks wrote in
the e-mail. "There are now about
50 student groups and organi-
zations formally affiliated with
Hillel and the number increases
each year."
See HILLEL, Page 7A

University president
says it's too early to
know if there will be
a tuition increase
By KYLE SWANSON
Daily StaffReporter
At an intimate meeting yester-
day, University President Mary

Sue Coleman told students how the
University will help them cope with
financial hardships over the next
year, but admitted it was too early
to tell whether a tuition increase
was on the horizon.
Coleman met with approximate-
ly 40 students yesterday in her last
fireside chat of the year. Coleman
hosts an invitation only fireside
chat with students each month to
discuss any concerns they have
about the University.

Coleman focused a major part of
the chat on explaining the budget
process and responding to student
concerns about University finances.
Vice President for Student Affairs
Royster Harper also fielded ques-
tions from students.
Coleman said the budget process
begins by examining expenses that
are expected to rise - like energy
and utility costs, unionized employ-
ee salaries and supply costs - and
then reviewing individual schools'

budgets. At the same time, Coleman
said expected revenue levels are
considered to make sure they will
cover the budgeted expenses.,
Coleman said pinpointing rev-
enue levels has been very difficult
this. year because of several vari-
ables that are still up in the air.
"That's been particularly chal-
lenging this year because we don't
know what's going to happen with
the state (appropriations)," she
See COLEMAN, Page 7A

ALTERNATIV NEGY SERIE PART 3 0 5
Our energy future:
Geothermal power

Sobering news: Beer tax may rise

By ESHWAR
THIRUNAVUKKARASU
Daily StaffReporter
For commercial producer Mat-
thew Grocoff, living green with
a geothermal system has meant
sustained comfort at a fraction
of the original cost. And, with a
global drive toward sustainabil-
ity, Grocoff believes geothermal
energy may no longer be taking
a backseat in the discussion of
energy alternatives.
Grocoff said he and his wife,
Kelly, moved to Ann Arbor from
Santa Monica, Calif. bringing
with them a Californian con-
sciousness about water and ener-

gy efficiency. Still in the ongoing
process of renovating their home
in the Old West Side of Ann
Arbor, the Grocoffs have retrofit-
ted a 110-year-old Victorian-style
house with the latest eco-friendly
technology.
After insulatingthe house, buy-
ing energy-saving light motion
sensors and installing Energy
Star appliances, the couple set
its sights on a geothermal unit to
heat and cool their new home.
Referring to the Envision - a
geothermal system created by
WaterFurnace - as "green hling,"
Grocoff was eager to share the
details of his return on the invest-
See GEOTHERMAL, Page 7A

Tax would help
fund child abuse
prevention programs
By DEVON THORSBY
Daily StaffReporter
Beer pong tournaments could get
more expensive if a Michigan state
task force gets its way.
The Michigan Child Welfare
Improvement Task Force plans to
recommend a higher tax on beer in
Michigan, raising the tax from two
to five cents per 12 ounces of beer,

or about one can, i"shars,'grocery
stores and wholesale stores. The
money from the tax rate increase
will go toward prevention pro-
grams for child abuse and neglect
and to help children in the foster
care system.
Patrick Babcock, a co-chair
of the task force, said raising the
taxes on beer would have a large
impact on child abuse prevention
programs.
"If the legislature were to adopt
the five-cent proposal, we could
raise as much as $110 million per
year," Babcock said. "And for five
cents on the bottle, we think it's a

small amount to be able to protect
our children."
Babcock added that the group
chose to tax beer because of high
trends of alcoholism among abusive
or neglectful parents.
"There is a relationship between
the ingestion of alcohol and child
abuse and neglect," Babcock said.
"Though it is not always the case,
there is often alcohol involved in
cases of child abuse and neglect."
But University students
shouldn't get too worried yet
because the proposal is likely to
face opposition once it reaches the
See BEER TAX, Page 7A

BY THE NUMBERS
Proposed changesnto stateutaxeson beer
5 cents
Proposed newltao pet12 ounces of beet, at
aboutone can sold in thesateof Michigan.
2 Cents
The current statetaxon12ounces of beer,
whetebeer indusr y officialsand Republican
legislatures marl it In slay.
$110 million
Total amountlthat the state could raise if the
legislation were passed, accordingto Patrick
Babcock, a co-chair of thetask force.

MUSICAL MOCKERY

MICHIGAN STUDENT A S MLY
MSA passes resolution
to support DREAM Act

Legislation would
help undocumented
students work
toward citizenship
By JENNA SKOLLER
Daily StaffReporter
When he was three years old,
* local community college stu-
dent Mohammed, who asked
that his last name not be printed
because he is in the country ille-
gally, immigrated to Ann Arbor
from Iran with his parents in
1989.
a He has lived here ever since,

attending Ai" Arhor public
schools for his entire primary
education. But because of a
lawyer's filing mistake when
his parents first arrived in the
United States, he remains an
undocumented immigrant.
Mohammed has taken the
maximum amount of transfer-
able credits at a Michigan com-
munity college and wants to
finish his degree in social work at
the University of Michigan. How-
ever, due to high tuition costs and
a lack of eligibility for in-state
tuition or financial aid because
he is undocumented, he cannot
attend the University.
Students like Mohammed are
See DREAM ACT, Page 7A

JED MOcH/Daily
Students act in a mock High School Musical film about college graduation produced by LSA seniors Megan Gilliam and Zoe'Rudsill (not pictured). The project is for the two
seniors' Video, Screen and Dance class and appropriately features a story line about graduating college students.

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