4A - Monday, February 17, 2014
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
4A - Monday, February 11, 2014 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycon
Edited and managed by students at
the University ofMichigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
PETER SHAHIN and DANIEL WANG KATIE BURKE
EDITOR IN CHIEF EDITORIAL PAGE EDITORS MANAGING EDITOR
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.
A SMART(er) option
Michigan should pass bill for a more affordable student loan plan
ast Tuesday, state Sen. Jim Ananich (D-Flint) and state Rep. David
Knezek (D- Dearborn Heights) introduced a proposal that may
lift the burden off some low- and middle-income Michigan college
students. The proposal, called the Smarter Michigan and Retaining
Talent Tuition Program, would provide college students interest-free
loans if they agree to pay a small percentage of their income back after
graduation. Michigan legislators should work to pass SMART because it
provides a more reasonable approach to paying student loans and could
make college more accessible.
The failure of emergency management
SMART will begin as a five-year pilot
program with $2 million of loan funding. The
loans will be given to 200 in-state students
whose adjusted gross income is less than
$250,000. Half of the students awarded would
attend an in-state public university, while the
other half would attend an in-state community
college. if more than 200 eligible students
apply, then students will be randomly chosen
out of a lottery. Loans will not exceed the cost
of tuition. For every year a student receives
the loan, they will have to pay back five years'
worth of payments. If the student went to a
community college, they wit have to pay 2
percent of their adjusted gross income, while a
public university student wottld pay 4 percent.
Community college students can't take out
more than three years' worth of loans, and
public university students can't take out more
than five. Since these rates are fixed, and the
repayments stop after 15 or 25 years depending
on the school type, this means some students
would pay less than they took out, and others
would pay more, depending on their post-
graduation income. The program requires that
all awarded students must maintain at least
a 2.5 grade point average, which ensures that
students spend their time in classes instead of
juggling multiple jobs.
This forward-thinking plan will benefit
college students and the state economy because
it prevents lifelong debt by cappingthe number
ofyears a student will have to pay backthe state.
As of 2013, 62 percent of Michigan students
graduated with an average amount of $28,840
in debt. This becomes even more problematic
for students who continue their education, or
have a reasonable gap between graduation and
their first job. Unlike normal loans, repayments
for this loan will start once the student starts a
job and earns an adjusted gross income above
the federal poverty level. This makes it much
more feasible for a recent graduate to pay back a
large sum of money right after they enter their
first full-time job.
College could become more accessible to
lower-income students with this program, and
has proven to do so in other countries. With a
degree, students will be able to go into higher-
paying fields and pay back into the system,
making it self-sustaining over time. Countries
like the United Kingdom and Australia have
student repayment programs in place for their
entire country. In Australia, the payment
repayment program has been very successful,
as "it has financed expanded access to higher
education, contained tuition subsidy costs to
taxpayers and managed risk for students and
graduates. There is no such thing as student
loan default in Australia."
Students should not be discouraged from
obtaining a college education because of the
price. Michigan should pass this proposal
while putting forward even more legislation
that makes college more accessible and less
of a debt trap. While the Health Care and
Education Reconciliation Act passed under
Obama's administration has the ability to help
many students and control student debt, state
legislators need to do their part to provide
their students with more opportunities for an
affordable college education.
of the emergency
manager law -
there's an intui-
tive appeal to
even more than
their federal and
parts, are inca-
pable of fiscal
responsibility - wh
reasons or general i
at least that's the do:
and local leaders-
there's another stor
Peck, a profe
University of Br
delivered an insigh
sponsored by the I
Urban Studies on J
policies in the wal
States' most recen
in 2007-2008. The
focused on the sha
Detroit and other r
To Peck, though
ety have paid a pri
Recession," none h
quite like local gov
to tighten budgets,
sharing, local offi
forced to utilize ext
This reality args
true in Michigan
else in the country.
across the state h
since 2009. Curre
state treasurer Kev:
reviewing three a
finances - Highla
Park and Royal Oak
One audience m
Peck's talk le
much experience as
Square took ove
manager of Hamtra:
it became the seco
has entered emerge
since 2000. Majewsl
coincides with both
"We're stuck bet
a hard place," Maj
the audience. "We
to maneuver. The
controlling our fins
come dictated from
sentiment that lo
controversy sur- unfairly portrayed as negligent
Public Act 436 - and incompetent.
wn as Michigan's "Anything that we do is the result
of our mismanagement, and our dys-
functional politics," Majewski said.
"'We can'tcgovern ourselves'is the nar-
rative that's been put out to the people
and I think that's been accepted."
Despite dramatic revenue decline,
especially in hard-hit cities like
Hamtramck, citizens still expect
the same quality of services. When
ALEXANDER those services aren't provided, little
HERMANN consideration is given to local leaders'
condensed toolkit - and rightfully so.
Additionally, Majewski suggested
that emergency managers are, at
ether for political least theoretically, responsible for
ncompetence. or correcting these perceived failings.
minant narrative. In other words, the EFM instructs,
ing to Jamie Peck obstructs or nannies - depending
across the state, on your view - municipal officials
y worth telling. to prevent the reoccurrence of past
ssor from the mistakes oncegovernance isreverted
itish Columbia, to local control.
tful presentation "If this narrative is that local
Detroit School of government is incapable ofmanaging
an. 31 regarding itself, then in theory the emergency
on of austerity manager comes in and is our trainer,
ke of the United right?" Majewski said. "But in reality
t financial crisis those decisions are made and those
Detroit School, cuts are made, or those budgets are
t group at the made - essentially all decisions are
:ates dialogues made ... without the engagement at
red problems of any level of elected officials. ... In
st-belt cities. reality on the ground that mentoring
all sectors in soci- and that engagement does not
ce for the "Great happen. So it really is a dictatorship."
as footed the bill In an interview with the Daily
ernments. Facing last Thursday, Majewski provided
ues and pressures her specific frustrations. Simple
coinciding with communication with Square has
tions in revenue even been difficult.
cials have been "Emergencymanagers don'thave to
reme measures. answer in any way to the elected offi-
sably holds most cials," Majewski said. "Since (Square)
than anywhere came in on July 1st, we have seen not
Here, seven cities one single number - no budget infor-
ave been placed mation at all has been given to us."
y management Similar issues have arisen in
tly, Michigan's other cities. Emergency managers in
in Clinton is also Pontiac, for example, ultimately cut
idditional cities' part-time city councilmembers' pay to
nd Park, Lincoln zero, and never restored their salaries,
Township. citingcthe council's lack ofcooperation.
ember attending Financial managers similarly reduced
t considerable Flint City Councilmembers' annual
experience and pay from $20,000 to $7,500.
ve to his claims. in practice, how can any mentoring
i - mayor of relationship develop when an obvious
2005 - has as antagonismpermeates cityhall?
anyone working of course, local officials - usurped
ited emergency by Lansing in their own eyes - are
s. When Cathy frequentlyreluctanttoworkwithstate
r as financial appointees. Butcthat isn't always true.
mcklast summer, Hamtramck City Council actually
nd time the city requested emergency management,
ncy management hopingthe appointee would use their
ki's stint as mayor broad powers to puthe cityon better
crises. fiscal footing.
ween a rock and Regardless, any instruction from
ewski said from financial managers isn't translating
have no room into sustained success. Two
forces that are Michigan cities have departed a state
ncial possibilities of financial emergency and then have
above." later re-succumbed to emergency
hlighted the management - Hamtramck lastyear
cal officials are and Flint in 2011. A third's return,
Highland Park, seems inevitable.
So how do we make emergency
managers under Public Act 436 more
accountable to citizens' long-term
benefit? Fortunately, barriers to
improvingthe existinglaw are simple.
For one, locally elected officials
should have more say in their
emergency manager appointment -
increasing the likelihood of creating
a positive working relationship with
local officials. Along those lines, it
might be more palatable at times
to temporarily grant local mayors
themselves - still responsible to
voters - with the powers of financial
managers. As Majewski pointed out,
emergency managers oftentimes
have never run a city.
Second, the governor needs to
mandate regular reporting to local
officials - entirely nonexistent
currently - to facilitate some level of
mentorship and a smooth transition
back to local government.
"One would hope that the
emergency manager would be
- so that when she walks out the
door, you're already up and rolling,"
Majewski said. "But that doesn't
have to happen. ... We could do such
a better job if we were informed and
partof the decision-making process."
And shouldn't that be the
point? Ultimately local control
will be restored, ideally on better
fiscal footing. Anything less is an
unquestionable affrontto democracy.
But even that's been uncertain
at times. In Pontiac, for example,
emergency management ended last
August, but oversight persisted from
the "receivership-transition advisory
board" with the authority to approve
all municipal contracts, hiring and
spending. One member of that board
is Pontiac's former antagonistic
emergency manager Louis Schimmel.
Critics contend that this consti-
tutes nothing more than continued
state control - without the supposed
legitimacy of financial emergency.
But what are our alternatives?
Peck and Majewski think they have
And though the word has developed
a negative connotation in our lexicon,
we previously used other words to
describe the same phenomenon -
"Our revenue-sharing has been
cut to the degree that the narrative
now has become absolutely one of
bailout," Majewski said at Peck's
presentation. "Promises that were
made to municipalities decades
ago and then slowly clawed back
- there's no recognition that those
promises were ever made. Now
in order for us to reclaim those
promises, we're coming begging and
our requests are delegitimized."
"The austerity is the new norm."
- Alexander Hermann can be
reached at email@example.com.
EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS
Barry Belmont, Nivedita Karki, Jacob Karafa, Jordyn Kay,
Kellie Halushka, Aarica Marsh, Megan McDonald,
Victoria Noble, Michael Schramm, Matthew Seligman,
Paul Sherman, Allison Raeck, Daniel Wang, Derek Wolfe
KARIN LAVIE I
Pathos for philanthropy
THE UNITED COALITION FOR RACIAL JUSTICE
No more excuses
"Sign up for the bone marrow registry, it
only takes five minutes!" For a week I stood
eagerly beside Be The Match's table in Mason
Hall promoting the organization's bone
marrow registry. As people walked by, some
smiled, most ignored me and some shuddered
at the misconceived notion that I was going
to strap them down and give them a spinal
tap. Most people don't know what our bone
marrow registry is or are stuck on false
misinterpretations about it from watching
too much "House" or "Grey's Anatomy."
When students approach the table, I tell them
that bone marrow transplants are potential
lifesavers for people with leukemia, lymphoma
or other blood-borne diseases, used often as a
last resort. Registering is as simple as filling
out a form and having a quick cheek swab, and
the information is saved on a database until
you are 61 years old. If they find that you are
a match, which is pretty rare, there is a new
donating procedure that is just as easy as giving
blood, used far more frequently nowadays.
Even people familiar with bone marrow will
be surprised about how easy and painless new
technology has made donating.
I find that because of this new technology,
registering for, and if possible, donating
bone marrow, is the easiest way to help save
someone's life. However, in order to have
someone sign up and help, they have to
feel emotionally drawn to the cause. They
have to hear someone's story or feel the
grave importance of signing up. To expand
the registry, we rely on our most effective
technique: education. Once people hear about
the new procedure, they are likely to sign up,
but getting them to listen to my spiel remains
difficult. Recently, Michigan won a battle
against Ohio State University by signing up
more people for the registry. We collected
300 names and though this is an amazing
victory, the number could be so much higher.
Education and raising awareness comes
with its own challenges of being active and
assertive in public. During the drives, I feel
like a saleswoman, reading the body language
of the listener and knowing what to say to
make them feel the importance of the cause.
I thrive off the rush when someone signs up,
knowing I've made a tangible difference. It
feels even better when someone comes to the
table to inform me that they've been called to
be someone's match.
Volunteering through education doesn't
feel like raising money, where the donor often
doesn't know exactly where their money
is going or how it will be used. Of course,
fundraising is an excellent way to make a
difference - nothing would advance without
a financial push - but talking with people
from the community is a more direct effort to
help those in need. Personally, I feel invested
in a cause once I know more about it. Through
education, I realize the potential to make a
direct impact on someone else's life. It is a
different type of commitment than merely
buying a cookie at a bake sale and forgetting
about the cause 10 minutes later. Bone marrow
registry members turn off their apathy and
invest themselves in knowledge. Because
they stop to listen, they become larger than a
dollar in a cash box - they strengthen their
empathetic fibers for the good of humanity.
Every swab increases the chance of saving
someone's life and, because finding a match is
so rare, there is a potential for a special, deep
connection with the possible recipient.
Education doesn't only come through
standing at a table and being aggressive to
passersby. Next semester we are planning on
havingapanel discussion andbringingspeakers
who have donated or received donations. We
are also planning to possibly reach out to high
school students so people can be aware from
an earlier age. There are so many creative ways
in which to spread awareness. You just have
to be creative enough to get people to listen.
Education is the gateway to developing passion
and getting those philanthropic results.
Karin Lavie is an LSA senior.
Quick! When was the last time
that the University of Michigan had a
10-percent Black student enrollment?
That was a trick question:
the answer is "never." But many
may answer "before Proposal 2,"
which reflects the mainstream
University narrative on the current
crisis in minority enrollment. The
Proposal 2 narrative champions
the University and attributes major
setbacks in minority recruitment
to the passing of the 2006 ballot
initiative, which effectively banned
race-based affirmative action in
Michigan public institutions.
For example, according to a recent
article on the #BBUM demands,
President Coleman claimed that the
administration has "both hands tied
Supreme Court." Proposal 2 has acted
as an excuse for the administration to
shield its poor record on diversity.
This narrative paints the
administration as hamstrung by law
and therefore unable to successfully
create a diverse and inclusive campus.
It spotlights the University's Supreme
Court affirmative action cases to
portray the University as a leader in
diversity rather than a place which
has consistently lagged behind its
so-called "peer institutions."
Thus, this narrative depicts
decreased minority enrollment as a
new problem rather than a historical
and enduring reality.
What has been framed as a singular
cause and effect is actually a longer,
two-part process: an initial drop
in enrollment of underrepresented
minorities from 1997-2006 and a
second decline from the time of
Proposal 2 to the present. While Black
enrollment did drop significantly in
the years immediately after Proposal
2 - from nearly 7 percent to under 5
percent in 2010, where it has remained
ever since - it was preceded by an
extenuated drop intheyears prior.
When President Bollinger arrived,
Black enrollment under former
President Duderstadt's Michigan
Mandate had reached an institutional
high of nearly 9 percent. This was the
closest Michigan has ever come to the
elusive 10 percentdemand ofthe Black
Action Movement in 1970.
But asthe institutional commitment
to diversity waned, minority
enrollment followed suit.
As Proposal 2 came into effect, the
nearly 9 percent high point of 1996
had already droppedtof6.8 percentin
2007, suggesting that changes before
the implementation of Proposal 2
caused this initial drop. Since then,
the University has proclaimed itself
a warrior for affirmative action: In
Provost Pollack's university-wide
e-mail, she reiteratedthat"Michigan
has a proud history of fighting for
social justice, including taking the
fight to promote diversity all the
way to the U.S. Supreme Court." But
again, this relies on the nearsighted,
There are ways in which
Proposal 2 has had devastating
effects on underrepresented
Latin@ enrollment has been a
neglected topic because enrollment
numbers have not noticeably dropped.
However, its steadiness appears less
reassuringwhenwe take Latin@ state
and national population growth into
account. Between 2000 and 2010,
Michigan's population remained
relatively constant, while the Latin@
population in the state grew nearly
35 percent. Yet that rise has yet to be
reflected in admissions figures.
Perhaps the most silenced narrative
of all is the one regarding Native
2's effects are most devastating. In
2009, 254 Native American students
were enrolled at the University, a
number that would face a 71-percent
decrease over the three following
years. In 2006, Native Americans
comprised 1 percent of the total
enrollment, 0.7 percent in 2009, and
a mere 0.2 percent ever since 2010. As
2 did have devastating effects on all
underrepresented minorities, a side of
the story that is often obscured by the
Immediately after the passage of
assured the 2,000 activists gathered
on the Diag: "I will do everything
that's legal to help us attract minority
students. But it's already having a
In reality, that "chill" was nearly a
decade old then, and now approaches
So when Provost Martha Pollack
admitted that the "percentage of
on campus has fallen noticeably
in the last few years," we must ask
ourselves: "Are they recycling the
old Proposal 2 narrative of recent
decline and a willing, but hampered,
administration?" It has been nearly
20 years since the University made
a true institutional commitment
to diversity. It is time to move
This article was written
by members of the United
Coalition for Racial Justice.