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June 06, 1985 - Image 5

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1985-06-06

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The Michigan Daily
Vol. XCV, No. 13-S
95 Years of Editorial Freedom
Managed and Edited by Students at
The University of Michigan
Editorials represent a majority opinion of the
Daily Editorial Board
Equal opportunity
CURRENTLY, EVERY student pays $4.75 to MSA for
Student Legal Services, the Ann Arbor Tenants
Association, a Course Evaluation Project (ADVICE), and
additional MSA operating expenses, such as the funding of
student organizations.
None of the elected MSA leaders are paid with this
money; they volunteer to serve on student government,
*probably inspired by their dedication to the improvement
of student life at the University. The inherent problem with
this system is that in order to serve the students well, MSA
leaders must devote huge blocks of time to MSA, thus in-
creasing the difficulty of working at a paying job.
To improve the quality and diversity of its leaders, MSA
President Paul Josephson has introduced an idea to MSA's
ad hoc committee, which was formed to look at ways of
improving the assembly. Josephson hopes that offering a
$30/week stipend to executive officers and committee
chairmen will be an impetus to a more effective and less
r upper-middle class body.
Clearly, criteria must be established on a work study
basis where only financially needy members would be
eligible for the stipend or the point of providing salaried
work would be defeated.
Some assembly members are concerned that the appeal
of a salaried position might increase the number of studen-
ts running for office who have insincere motives. That's
possible. Many students run for resume padding reasons
without additional dollar incentive anyway.
Josephson has addressed the problem of funding these
wages. Instead of depleting the funds from the four ser-
vices MSA provides to students, Josephson has said that
a five percent increase per student per term could pay for
these salaries.
Since the amount needed for salaries could change with
the number of committee chairs (currently there are ten
chairs and three executive officers), this five cent increase
might prove to be an unstable figure.
Yet, placing a cap on the number of committees could
prove politically disasterous, since assembly members
might be forced to work on committees they don't care
about. Special interest groups not represented by standing
committees wouldn't have a vehicle for organization.
There are problems that have to be solved with this plan,
but then it is just in its earliest stage. The problems can be
worked out in order to solve the larger problem of equal
opportunity for political participation.
The Michigan Daily encourages input from
our readers. Letters should be typed, triple
spaced, and sent to the Daily Opinion Page, 420
Maynard, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109.

Thursday, June 6, 1985

Page 5

Astatic conception of time
perceptible, but it is dynamic which makes it impossible
By Matthew R. Kerbel to maintain indefinitely the conditions of one's life as they
Jnare at any given point. I find this infinitely comforting, not
Jenny tells me she wants it all: the right cars, a boat for only because of its upbeat implications for personal and
the summer, and a bachelors in business administration to social growth, but because I haven't seen too many bus
slip under her marriage license. It is not a new story; stations in which I'd like to linger for too long. Anyone who
many of us in Ann Arbor know someone like Jenny. Some has ever experienced the desire for something new or has
of us are Jenny. gone Greyhound will know what I mean.
Jenny is not a stereotype - she is a real person Jenny will never have it all simply because there is no
(although Jenny is not her real name). Her values are such thing. True, she may supply herself with all the
what writers point to when they decry the "me goods and services she desires - she may even be
generation" of which willingly or not we all are part - the satisfied for a while. But it will never be everything
generation which, to some non-participants, will march because everywhere there will be change, for Jenny and
society to run down the dark path of conspicuous consum- for us all.
ption. This, too, is an old story and it ends with the bonds The implication, of course, is that Jenny will search on
which hold individuals together crushed and mangled un- even after she thinks she has it all, confirming that dorm
der the weight of collectively selfish social pursuits. My poster platitude about life being a journey. The search
purpose is neither to repeat this story nor to endorse Jen- may continue to be material, but this too may change as
ny's values. Rather, I'd like to offer the possibility of social conditions change or if selfish fun loses some of its
hope. luster. One doesn't have to strain too hard to remember
JENNY, LET'S assume that you get it all. You have a the last consumer-dominant me generation yield-
pretty good idea of what that means, so I'm sure you'll ing to a group dominated by collective activity and
know it when you're there. What happens next? Perhaps non-trivial social pursuits.
there'll be a sense of accomplishment or satisfaction, but I agree with those who say that society would be better
this will no doubt wear off in time. Then what? off if it didn't place such a strong emphasis on the syllable
"Having it all" implies a static conception of time, the ' of collective vanity. But, I am not as skeptical as those
idea that time will provide us with a destination, like a who feel we will crumble as a people under the weight of
great bus station, still out of sight but somewhere up our own selfishness. The rhythms of change will serve as a
ahead, where we can rest indefinitely after a long trek; buffer against having it all. And in change, Jenny, there is
like the Greyhound, we will have "arrived". I do not think hope.
events work that way, simply because things are always
changing around and within us. This change may be im- Kerbel is a doctoral student in polifical science
BLOOM COUNTY by Berke Breathed

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