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September 16, 2009 - Image 1

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The Michigan Daily, 2009-09-16

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I e 4ilici an i1

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

michigandaily.com

FINANCING YOUR EDUCATION
House could
overhaul aid
structure
Plan would cut out RESTRUCTURING AID
lenders, have gov't How money would shift under plan
give money straight $87 billion
to in-need students Amount taxpayers would save over the

CHRiS DZOMBAK/Daily
The Halfway Inn, a favorite hangout among Residential College students located in the basement of East Quad, recently shed its much-beloved food operation and became
simply a lounge (left). The food service moved upstairs where officials say a wider and healthier menu can be available to students.
The Halfway g

By JACOB SMILOVITZ
Managing News Editor
On the floor of the U.S. House
of Representatives today, legis-
lators will consider a bill that, if
passed, would completely revamp
the American financial aid sys-
tem.
Carved out in Rep. George
Miller's Committee on Education
and Labor, the Student Aid and
Fiscal Responsibility Act (H.R.
3221), would invest $40 billion to
increase Pell Grant scholarships,
strengthen low-interest Perkins
Loans for students most in need
and bolster college access and
completion rates with a $3 million
funding injection, among other
things.
The legislation would overhaul
the lending industry by rout-
ing all new federal student loans
through the government's Direct
Loan program, effectively end-
ing the practice of subsidizing
lenders with taxpayer money. It
would, for all intents and purpos-
es, remove the lending industry
as a middleman between the fed-
eral government doling out finan-
cial aid and the students who are

next 10 years under new system
$7 billion
Cost to taxpayers for new program, most
of which is administrative expenses
$40 billion
Proposed increasein Pell Grant funding
Maximum annual Pell Grant scholarship
by 2019 with additional funding, an
increase from $5,550 today.
Additional amount provided for
the low-interest Perkins Loan program
receiving it.
If passed, the shift in lending
would take effect on July 1, 2010.
1 Inaconferencecallwithreport-
ers yesterday, Miller (D-Calif.)
and Secretary of Education Arne
Duncan lauded the plan, which
a press release distributed in
advance of the call termed "the
largest investment in student aid
in history."
"In recent years it's become
very clear that the federally guar-
See FINANCIAL AID, Page 7A

Residential College
students adjusting to
lose of the 'Halfass'
By LIBBY ASHTON
For the Daily
The start of this school year
brought more change to East Quad
than just a new freshman class and
some yellow room keys.
The Halfway Inn, which used
to be a cafe, convenience store and
lounge in the basement of the resi-

dence hall, is now only a lounge.
East Quad's new wave of resi-
dents won't share the experience
of waiting for their late-night que-
sadillas to blasting music and the
aroma of "funk" in the East Quad
basement at the establishment af-
fectionately referred to as "the
Half-ass In."
However, according to Michigan
Housing Communications Director
Peter Logan, the quesadillas are the
only missing element.
"The Halfway Inn will continue
to operate as a center for commu-
nity events and programs for all of

East Quad," Logan said, addingthat.
"the only change" would be the re-
location of the food service compo-
nent to the South Dining Room on
the ground floor.
Abbie Stauffer, an LSA senior
working as an East Quad resident
assistant for a second year, said she
was initially disappointed to hear
that the Halfway Inn would be con-
verted to a basic lounge.
"It was a classic East Quad
place," Stauffer said. "It was funky
in the original sense of the word-
smelly, nasty funk.'
Stauffer said she can now ap-

preciae the calmness and conve-
nience of the new area. Also, she
expects the new service to be more
efficient.
"The packaging will be more
consistent now," she said. "(The
students) used to charge you the
same price for different sizes."
Along with its inconsistencies,
Logan explained that the base-
ment location of the food service
was limited in its ability to provide
a variety of options to the custom-
ers. The move upstairs has allowed
for an expanded grill menu and
See HALFWAY INN, Page 7A

MYSTERY IN THE DIAG
Several Circle K
ad boards torn up

USPS could close South U. store

In past 10 months,
five signs for group
have been vandalized
By VERONICA MENALDI
Daily Staff Reporter
Circle K President Charlie Goelz
doesn't feel his organization is
controversial. Who could possibly
have a problem with community
service?
Yet the volunteer group has been
the target of a string of vandalism
on campus lately.
In the past 10 months, five of
Circle K's Diag boards have been
vandalized, most recently on Sept
1. The previous three incidents
occurred during the summer, and
the first last November.
On July 13 and July 29, respec-
tively, two of the group's Diag
boards were reported stolen by the
Student Organization Resource
Center.
A Diag board was found in some
bushes Aug. 8, and after the Sept
1 incident, the missing board was
found near the Michigan Union.
CircleKnotified the Department
of Public Safety of the thefts after
the July 29 incident.
Goelz, an LSA senior, said the
vandalism frustrates the group
since no other organization has
had their signs torn down as often

as Circle K's.
But the group doesn't know
why.
"SORC told us that it's not abnor-
mal to have one banner ripped
down just because vandalism hap-
pens," he said. "I do know other
organizations that this has hap-
pened to recently. But it is very
abnormal to have it happen to one
group four different times and from
what I know, they were in different
locations, as well."
Afterthefirstvandalismincident
last November, Goelz said Circle K
thought it was an isolated incident.
Since then, he said, the group has
become increasingly puzzled by
the phenomenon.
"We're not a controversial
organization," he said. "We're an
organization that tries to remain
nonpartisan, and we don't cause a
lot of drama."
Many of Circle K's service proj-
ects deal with hunger and environ-
mental issues, but that certainly
doesn't make them unique on cam-
pus, he said.
LSA junior Natalie Kittikul,
Circle K's associate secretary, has
been in charge of organizing the
repainting of the Diag boards and
also found the two that were torn
down.
She said she was trying to keep
an optimistic spin on the whole
situation.
See CIRCLE K, Page 7A

Location is one of
410 stores on the
chopping block
By EMILY ORLEY
Daily StaffReporter
On Oct. 2, a final decision will
be made regarding the closure of
the post office at 1214 S. University
Ave.
The location was one of more
than 700 post offices nation-
wide that were proposed to close
this fall. The list is now down to
approximately 410 stores, and in
two weeks the remaining stores'
fates will be determined.
But Ann Arbor officials and resi-
dents are workingto keep the loca-
tion off the chopping block.
City leaders drafted and sent a
proposal to their representatives
in Washington D.C. last week, ask-
ing them to rally in support of the
location.
U.S. Rep. John Dingell (D-Dear-
born) responded urging the Postal
Service to preserve the South Uni-
versity Avenue location.
"Located in the heart of the
University of Michigan's cam-
pus, this post office serves the
needs of thousands of students
who have limited transporta-
tion options," Dingell said in his
statement.
The Michigan Student Assembly
has also expressed discontent.
The body passed a resolution,
authored by Rackham Graduate
School Rep. Michael Benson, Pres-

WILL MOELLER/Daily
The post office on South University Avenue could be closed because of cutbacks throughout the USPS budget.
ident Abhishek Mahanti and Chief Ann Arbor City Councilman said Connie Zhou, an LSA fresh-
of Staff Ambreen Sayed, opposing Christopher Taylor (D-Ward 3) man who was concerned about
the closing. said transportation is the promi- shipping heavy packages.
MSA will send a copy of the nent concern surrounding the Students and local businesses
resolution to U.S. Sens. Carl Levin potential closure because the expressed concern that if the store
(D-Mich.) and Debbie Stabenow majority of students who frequent closes, shipping will be costlier
(D-Mich.), Dingell and the Uni- the branch do not have access to and more difficult, like having to
versity Board of Regents, as well as cars. ship at FedEx for example.
USPS authorities, urging them to "We do make a reasonable case Kolossos Printing, which is
maintain the station in full opera- - it's a station that is in an essen- directly next door to the USPS
tion. tial location among persons that location, does ship packages but
Mahanti will also discuss the don't have motorization," he said. usually at a higher price than the
resolution at the next regents The next closest post office is post office.
meeting. located at East Liberty Street and Regardless of petitions and con-
The MSA resolution states that South Fifth Avenue, almost a mile gressional support, the decision
USPS's other Ann Arbor locations away from the South University will ultimately be made solely by
are "unduly impractical and highly Avenue location. the USPS.
burdensome," particularly for stu- "When I walked to the other one Taylor added that, in the end, it
dents without cars. it was like 15 to 30 minutes away," See POST OFFICE, Page 7A

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